Dear members of the university community,
Today is a wonderful, celebratory day in the life of the University of Mississippi. Our enduring legacy of academic excellence and serving our students, our state, and our future began on this day 175 years ago when we opened for our first session with 80 students.
We will mark this auspicious occasion today at 1 p.m. on the front steps of the Lyceum with remarks and a reception. Please join us — the 175th anniversary planning committee led by Provost Noel Wilkin has put together a fabulous celebration for our whole community to enjoy.
Today’s anniversary is more than commemorating the passage of time. Underlying nearly two centuries as our state’s flagship university is a foundation built on countless connections, paths, and threads that beckon people to this special, life-changing place and keeps them returning, generation after generation. For 175 years, our remarkable impact has been measured in terms of our greatest resource and our greatest product — our people — who carry this esteemed institution into the world.
To our current students: You have chosen this place to help shape and elevate you as the next generation of leaders and trailblazers. We can’t wait to see all that you will accomplish when you join the ranks of our respected graduates who govern, invent, heal, research, teach, engineer, build, solve, inspire, volunteer, create, innovate, and champion others.
To our faculty: Since 1848, one of our constants has been the excellence, talent, and dedication of our faculty. You are the foundation of our academic reputation, our research and creative prowess, and so much more. Because of you, students and families continue to embrace this university as a welcoming place to learn, grow, and excel. Thank you for pouring your knowledge and your hearts into how our students thrive with unwavering support and personal mentoring.
To our staff: Meaningful contributions that go above and beyond in service to our university continue to be the hallmark that defines you. Every day, I’m inspired by your tremendous work, your energy and positivity, and the extraordinary thought and attention you give to how we best serve our students. I’m honored to work alongside you!
To our alumni: You will always be a vital part of this university’s past, present, and future. There are few places in this world that value the level of lifelong relationships like Ole Miss does. Our alumni are at the heart of how strong those connections remain, generation after generation. Through you, the Hotty Toddy spirit of Ole Miss is everywhere. And, through you, Ole Miss is moving the world forward and shaping a brighter future.
Yes, the University of Mississippi is a special place, but it is so much more than just a place. It is the wellspring of each of our dreams and legacies. It is a family. It is a community of scholars. And, it is where generations of students, faculty, staff, and alumni come together to learn, grow, and make their mark on the world. We are connected across time and space, bound by a shared commitment to knowledge, progress, and the pursuit of excellence.
Thank you all for being a lasting part of the inspiring story of the University of Mississippi. Here’s to the next 175 years of excellence, innovation, and changing lives.
Glenn F. Boyce